The official review process for a Wal-Mart proposal began on April 13 and will continue with a planning commission meeting on May 11. The Wal-Mart would be built at the old U.S. Bowling Congress site on 76th Street and would increase the value of the site to about $10 million that would go towards Greendale’s tax base.
Wal-Mart's proposal includes a grocery market, pharmacy and some limited general merchandise. Also at the site would be two out lots for development by future tenants.
This proposed Wal-Mart would be half the size of a Super Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart officials said that the size would be less than half of the Franklin store.
“The project is a new project for Southeastern Wisconsin,” said Wal-Mart attorney Deborah Tomczyk at the planning commission meeting. “This is a 93,000 square foot Wal-Mart. It’s not anywhere I can point you to because there aren’t any close by.”
Tomczyk said that currently there aren’t any tenants for the two out-lots but that once Wal-Mart is approved tenants would commit.
Wal-Mart is acquiring 1.8 acres of land from Martin Luther High School, which Tomcyzk said would help the school financially.
Wal-Mart civil engineer Justin Johnson said that right now the proposed store is under-parked. Wal-Mart standards use 460 to 500 parking stalls but right now the proposal has 390.
A traffic analysis was done for the main driveways along South 76th Street, the two access points to Martin Luther High School, and the Bed Bath & Beyond access. The studies were conducted during peak hours of the morning, evening, and Saturday afternoons.
Don Lee, who conducted the analysis, said that Martin Luther High School would have access to the site from the north, which was requested by the school. He also mentioned the possibility of adding stop signs to control the flow of traffic. Lee said that the analysis looked at car crashes and found that the crash rates were low in the area. Milwaukee County requested additional analysis from Wal-Mart.
Village president John Hermes said he would like to see to further indication that intersections on Grange and Edgerton Avenues had also been reviewed during peak hours.
Village trustee Sally Chadwick said she would like to see a traffic analysis during let-out hours at Martin Luther High School and gave a few other recommendations.
“I recommend a much better landscaping,” Chadwick said. “I want to make sure no carts are on the outside. Everything has to be on the inside. I’d like to also see a percentage of the store. I’m not talking about the storage area or offices. I’d like to the percentage of the grocery store, pharmacy and other parts. If we want Greendale to see this as a grocery store it better be at least 50 percent, and I’m pushing for more.”
Wal-Mart would create 100 to 150 jobs, according to its business plan.
The plan also states that Wal-Mart, if it chooses, can seek to remain open 24 hours per day as long as it’s not creating a nuisance as determined by the Village Board.
President John Hermes said that he does not encourage 24-hour operation.
Tomczyk said that no over-night parking of campers or RVs, no outdoor speakers nor outdoor sales areas would be allowed.
The planning commission will meet on May 11 to continue the review process and will hold a public hearing on June 7 before taking action.
“Having a business like Wal-Mart interested in a Greendale location shows our redevelopment efforts are working,” said Village Trustee Ron Barbian. “Since the site is not in either TIF district, the increase in assessed value of approximately 10 million dollars would improve the Village's tax base. Given all the vacant properties nationally and locally, redevelopment of the vacant Bowling Congress Building is very positive for our community.”